Saturday, August 8, 2009

To the new faculty

It is so exciting to have new teachers in the halls and classrooms. I hope you will get a chance to meet your librarian and talk about resources to support your curriculum. I wanted to share a few guidelines to improve the quality of your teaching life in my school and I'm sure many others.

Plan ahead. When you submit lesson plans to your department chair and the assistant principal, call the library if you anticipate needing research time or audiovisual resources. It is difficult to accommodate requests at the last moment, for obvious reasons.

Communicate with your librarian about your curricular objectives. The librarian can help you tailor an integrated research task to reinforce the technology course of study or standards for the 21st century learner. The librarian can also save you time, by supplying, for example, a list of reptiles on which the library has ample resource. This also makes the research task more streamlined, so students are better able to focus on making sense of new content. And, if given some lead time, the librarian is likely to supply a bibliography of related materials, multimedia clips to embed in your instruction, and current magazine articles on the topic. That's what librarians do.

Respect the library resources. Unfortunately, a few faculty members in the past have seen the library as a place to obtain overhead projector bulbs or AA batteries, make emergency photocopies, or send a bored student or two. Consider the cumulative effect if this sort of request is multiplied by all the faculty members (79!) in the building.